Small business owners: Don’t start the new year behind. Take a tip from big companies.…
Here we go again. Market manipulation. Media fear-mongering. The R Word.
Those of us who have been in business a long while know that this, too, shall pass. To successfully ride out economic dips means resisting the temptation to cut all spending. Does uncertainty call for for caution and planning? Yes. A total freeze? No.
The segment that gets hurt the worst at these times is small to mid-sized businesses because of that knee-jerk freeze response.
Economies ebb and flow, and considering the constant social and political turmoil in recent years combined with staggering prices and consumer spending, it’s a wonder an ebb didn’t come sooner. When a correction happens, the key is to shift into strategic mode and decide how you’ll navigate without losing market share. Perhaps you’ll even make gains.
A successful approach is to do what it takes to maintain and improve your market position.
So how do you build business in a potential recession? Keep marketing. Specifically,
1 Earn customer loyalty. Demonstrate value. Honor repeat business with a loyalty program or favorable pricing.
2 Acknowledge economic trends by offering limited-time special offers. This helps retain existing customers and attract new ones.
3 Communicate with your customers. Offer helpful and timely information (like this article you’re reading!)
4 Provide value-add services and simply don’t charge for them. Itemize the freebies on your invoices but mark them N/C or complimentary.
5 Keep your brand relevant. Use all your media channels to deliver branded content and messaging that shows you care about your customers and are acting responsibly in a changing world.
6 Introduce products, services and features that meet or anticipate changing needs. Consider opportunities related to sustainability, social responsibility, finance, technology, education, economic development.
7 Evaluate and update your marketing plan. As we head into the fourth quarter, this is the traditional time for a check-in anyway. If you don’t have a marketing plan, it’s time to put one in place. Ideas and suggestions from our 2022 preview here.
8 Buy from other local, small and B2B businesses to keep the money flowing. Invest in marketing and related activities that generate revenue.
9 How well is your website helping you market your business? Is the design outdated? Is it mobile-friendly? Is the messaging relevant? We recommend a website refresh every two years, or any time customers scrutinize purchases more carefully.
10 Stay savvy, plan ahead, measure, adjust and repeat.
a turning point
Each year Q4 invites reflection on the year drawing to a close and celebration of the opportunities that lie ahead. As a marketing professional, I love helping businesses tap into the magic of this special time to meet an ever-changing landscape of challenges and opportunities.
If you need support with a project, planning or strategy, please consider scheduling a no-obligation, complimentary consultation to discuss.